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Everything posted by SRman

  1. With a small (ish) extension, you could model Westerham Hill. I'll just get my hat and coat ...
  2. Post more dirty pictures, Adrian. Keep 'em coming.
  3. The reference and any similar tips like this can be useful to we overseas modellers because we cannot get the railway-specific model paints now. The more generic paint ranges are the best we can do, so any helpful references are most welcome.
  4. If your green 73 cab lights don't come on while running, then you have a later issued version with a completely new PCB design. The two I had with the earlier design would have had the cab lights on while DC running as well as on DCC.
  5. While adding strengthening braces to the undersides of the drawers in an Ikea Alex unit with all my (heavy!) locomotives in, I had to remove all the locos as I took each drawer out. I found a good few little bits and pieces that had fallen off various locomotives and their couplings. Among those bits was a pair of air hoses from a class 73. I identified the loco as 73 141 in First GBRf livery, an earlier release Dapol model that had lighting faults built-in to the PCB through poor design and lack of quality control on Dapol's part. I had already fixed one early model, in (sort of) BR early blue, and decided I would treat this model as well while I had it out. The problems with these models were that the headcode and headlights (where fitted for the latter) worked the wrong way when a DCC decoder was fitted - forwards for the model resulted in the rear lights coming on, and reverse meant the front lights came on. There were a couple of fixes for this: one was to swap the F0f and F0r functions on the decoder, another was to reverse the brush wire connections on the PCB (which was the one I chose). Either solution results in the lights working the wrong way again if the decoder is removed and the model restored to DC only working. The other lighting problem was that the cab lights at both ends were permanently on when the model was powered; on DCC that's all the time! Dapol's so-called solution was to advise owners to put some tape over the two contact pads at one end behind the cab mouldings, which then left the cab lights permanently off. Someone quite some time ago posted the solution to fix this, which involved cutting two tracks and soldering two jumper wires. I did this with the previous model, and decided to repeat it on this one too. Once done, it allowed the cab light at No. 1 end to be operated with F1, and that at the No. 2 end on F2 (on a Zimo MX634 non-sound decoder). Once I had this successfully operating, I reprogrammed the outputs slightly to switch the cab lights off at anything above speed step 0. the pictures show the headcode and headlight operating independently of the cab lights, and combinations of both cabs on or off, and each one in turn on. Now all I have to do is give it a really good run, as the pickups are a bit dirty so the loco is spluttering a bit on the tracks.
  6. I know, but he's having a breather. The driver was happy to cope with that.
  7. The end results of my labours from earlier. Firstly, the Swedish Rc5 loco now has all its detail parts fitted, and has been numbered 1337, and is ready for service when I next run a Continental train theme. The transfers included the ASEA names for the sides of the pantograph bases. There was one centre handrail missing for one end, so I have made one out of brass wire, which was still unpainted in the second photo. I removed the coupling and pocket at one end and fitted the fully detailed snowplough. Back to British, the SECR D now has a crew. The fireman has temporarily parked his shovel and is having a breather. I have no idea whether the colours I chose or the dress style are appropriate for the period represented. The D's were right-hand drive, but the driver knows there is a signal coming up on the left with the left-hand curve, so he has moved to the left to observe that more clearly.
  8. A new second-hand purchase for me, from Hatton's at not too bad a price was this Roco Swedish Rc5 locomotive in an obsolete but still around livery. I knew it was an older model so was not DCC ready, but a quick test on DC showed all was very well indeed with the motor and electrics, so I set about wiring a DCC decoder in. This involved cutting the tracks on the PCB to separate the lights and brush feeds out, then soldering the appropriate decoder wires to the various components. This also involved adding a few jumper wires to connect the lights' return (blue wire) and the red and black track feeds from each end of the locomotive. I chose a budget Zimo MX600 decoder for the job. Testing on the programming track again showed all was well with my wiring. I had to resolder one wire that had come adrift from its bogie pickup during my handling of the loco, but other than that it worked perfectly first go anyway. I have removed the weight at one end to sit the decoder on top of the bogie gear tower, held in place by a bit of black tack - there is plenty of weight in the chassis in any case. That black wire should have been tidied up and run along the side of the PCB; I'll fix that up next time I take the body off. Now all I have to do is add all the handrails and other add-on bits that came sealed in their bag in the box, and choose a number from the transfer sheet that was also included. Also having attention is the Rails/Dapol SECR D class 4-4-0: I have added real coal to the tender, and am almost finished with painting some crew figures to put in the cab.
  9. ... If the tracks on the PCB are a bit old and tarnished, I polish the bit I want to solder first with a wire brush in my Dremel tool. The flux I use also seems to be quite effective at helping the solder to flow and stick. The LEDs are standard 5mm white ones. I agree that warm white would be better for older locomotives that in real life used incandescent bulbs. The 5mm LEDs are the most convenient to fit here because they closely mimic the size of the original bulbs. You can see the bluer tint in the photo below. I actually bought two of these Roco models in the same lot, but one was a much newer model and had a decoder socket on its PCB, with smaller surface mounted LEDs. I didn't really look to see if the light guides remained the same, but thought it safer to use the 5mm LEDs to minimise any disruptions to the alignments.
  10. Next time you take the 'lid' off one of the WCs with the decoder in the loco, could you take a photo to show me where you located the decoders, please? I couldn't see any way of fitting one in.
  11. Yes, as John said, put that pantograph/track power switch into the track position. I also did this conversion last year, but I replaced the bulbs with LEDs and associated resistors as well. Note he position of that switch in my photo: I soldered it lightly to the PCB track to prevent it being accidentally moved and causing problems. It is at the bottom end of my photo. You may be able to make out in my photo how the orange and grey wires are soldered directly to the brush connections.
  12. I do like the Lenz Standard decoders, and have a good many in use (23 at last count, including versions 1 and 2), mostly on Hornby EMUs, but quite a few in locomotives as well. The problem with the rebuilt WC locos is there is a distinct lack of space for a decoder. The Lenz ones are fairly large, but usefully, they are single-sided. I was able to use one in the Gresley P2, with the decoder stuck to the inside of the firebox. Unfortunately, that would not work with the rebuilt West Countries - the clearances for the boiler and firebox to fit over the chassis are extremely tight.
  13. It was a good idea at the time, just let down by the inferior materials available at the time. Brunel's atmospheric railway could have worked reliably for much longer if it had had access to modern materials too. It relied on leather seals for the vacuum tubes (as did Bulleid's oil baths) whereas some flexible synthetic plastics nowadays would be far more resilient and not prone to cracking or hardening, or to the effects of temperature extremes from the weather 9or locomotive boiler, in Bulleid's case). Chains used to stretch, hence the unreliability of the valve gear, where a worn-out loco could be going forwards in full reverse gear. More modern chains can resist the tendency to stretch - just look at many modern cars with their timing chains or belts. They do eventually have to be replaced, but they go a long way before that becomes necessary.
  14. A slight diversion: my best-running Hornby rebuilt West Country, 34053 'Sir Keith Park' suddenly stopped and refused to move, with the motor humming. I dismantled it to check the motor and gear chain, and sure enough, the known weakness in some of Hornby's gears has reared its head, with both gears on the layshaft in the gear tower splitting. I cleaned the gears in some IPA, then tried filling the gaps and supergluing them to prevent slippage on the shaft, but that still resulted in jamming, albeit with some movement possible. Fortunately, I had a couple of spare sets of these gears in one of my boxes, so after a bit of searching I was able to replace the problem set. Testing with these fitted showed it to be running better than ever, so reassembly commenced. Before doing that, I had to resolder one of the wires to the tender coupling that had come adrift. Reassembly of these models is fiddly, but I managed to get it back together without damaging the plastic motion brackets or severing any of the wires. Another test was carried out on the main lines, then it was reversed back into the engine shed roads. With reference to some of the earlier discussions, this locomotive is fitted with a TCS DP2X-UK decoder. Behaviour can be a little inconsistent, but is nice and smooth, but sometimes speeds up before slowing down when the sped steps are reduced.
  15. I have just started work on the lighting supports, with a whole lot of aluminium 25mm square tube and various connectors. I did a sketch a little while ago to work out what to buy. With DougN, who built my base boards boards initially, heading to Bunnings, I gave him the list of my requirements and he duly delivered them yesterday (yes, I did pay him for them!). Several of the pre-cut lengths weren't in stock, so I have to cut some of the longer lengths instead, so two 1.2m lengths supply the four 0.6m lengths I want for the under-board mountings. two 1.8m lengths supply the four 0.9m verticals I need, although one or two of those may need to be trimmed further by about 25mm to allow for crossing the baseboard longitudinal frames. Being aluminium, it cuts very easily with a hacksaw. Once it is all in place and nice and stable, I will be sticking long flexible strips of LED lighting at 12V DC. Hopefully, this will improve my photography of the layout by reducing incidences of my own shadow getting in the way. Anyway, here's the sketch of it, not to scale. The rough outline of the train boards is dotted in. The 4-way connector allows me to add extra support if I find it necessary. First steps in fitting the lighting frame in. This is only temporarily screwed in to get a measurement for how much more I need to trim from the upper rail. I have used three nice long screws through the aluminium and into the wood of the baseboard frame. There will be a mid support, as per my drawing posted yesterday, but as you can see, the system is sufficiently rigid that the top rail stays nearly level anyway. I have allowed the thickness of a backscene board between the end support and the baseboard edge, for a future backscene to be inserted. The same will apply at the other ends. The roll of LEDs tested with a 12V DC transformer/rectifier. These are the warm white ones, but I also have some cool white versions. I can choose which looks better before fixing them in place. It may even be possible to have both at the same time. The aim is to get a more even lighting effect over the whole layout.
  16. I also was about 8 when I went to my first Earls Court Motor Show (around 1963). My mother put me on the train at Three Bridges, and my father met me at Victoria station and took me on to Earls Court on the Underground.
  17. From the preview in the Hornby Magazine video on YouTube, no decoders are needed apart from in the driving trailer of the Irish variants. The lighting works on DC or DCC from the track, with a magnetic switch to turn them on or off.
  18. The first three in the rake (after the GUV) certainly look like Mk 2B or Mk 2C coaches. I can't make out the rest on my smaller screen at present. I like the use of 73 005 here, which gives me an excuse to purchase a few of the Accurascale NSE models and to use my largely unused 73 004 in similar (but not identical) NSE blue livery for a bit (a Lima body on a newer Hornby chassis).
  19. It is one solution, but the fly in the ointment there is that the coach side numbers tend to be smaller and unreadable at any sort of distance, whereas unit end numbers, where they exist, tend to be larger and bolder. Also, if the units are stored under a shed, the end numbers may be visible where the side numbers would not be. It is easier if one is just putting the units on the track for an operating session, but if they stay on the layout in a shed or fiddle yard, the numbers are not always so easy to read. On my own layout, there is a carriage shed and also a loco shed that partially conceals stored units. Those that are on the running lines in the fiddle yard loops tend to have their numbers stored in my NCE Pro Cab memories - six storage slots per cab - but I don't have enough cabs to store all of the locos and units in the yards in their memories. I am working on ideas to record which locos or units are hidden so I don't have to rely on a failing human memory, but I haven't yet come up with a good, viable solution.
  20. I overcame this problem with multiple Merchant Navy locomotives in "before and after" guises. My solution was to add 100 to the rebuilt versions' numbers, thus 35023 'Holland Afrika Line' in original form is 5023, and in rebuilt form is 5123. That still left me with the odd clashes in numbers. MN 35012 (DCC 5012) duplicates class 71 electric E5012 (also DCC 5012 under my current scheme). I am in the process of converting my spreadsheet listing all of the DCC addresses into a full-blown relational database, and I want the addresses to be a primary key, but cannot use them as such until I eliminate duplicate numbers.
  21. It is a problem. I have used something similar to you, Steven, but like you am not entirely satisfied with it. Like your 37s, I had the problem with 66 022 and 66 522. Solution was to use 6602 for 66 022 and 6522 for 66 522, but the longer term solution will be to renumber 66 022 (66 522 is in Freightliner/Shanks livery so cannot be renumbered). I have two 2-car Derby class 108 units, one green one NSE for running in different eras. The original one was the NSE one, I numbered it 1081, as being class 108, unit 1. The green one became 1082, but as this is so arbitrary, I have to remember which is unit 1 and which is 2. It might even be the other way around now because I swapped a Howes sound decoder from the NSE one to the green one. Similarly, my one and only class 105 is 1051. I also have one 2-car Derby Lightweight, from a group of classes that never received TOPS codes, so that provides an even bigger dilemma. I can't even remember what I chose for its DCC address. Other locomotives that caused problems with numbering were Deltic and DP2 - I settled on using the position of the letters within the alphabet, so Deltic (as DP1) became 4161 (4-16-1) and DP2 became 4162. I will be interested if you or someone else on the forums can come up with a better scheme for the DMUs. I ran out of inspiration a long time ago.
  22. A couple of short videos illustrating the trains recently running on Newton Broadway.
  23. I'll send you the dimensions of the boards I need for the secret railway.
  24. Well, I have been a bit naughty with spending on the European model front, again. I felt I would like an ICE unit of some sort, and stumbled upon the Piko Hobby ICE 3 set. This comes complete with track with moulded ballast (which I won't use) and a 12V DC controller, which may have a use in supplying some accessories with power, later on. The train itself comes as a 4-car unit, with two driving ends, a 2nd class pantograph coach, and a Restaurant Car, which houses the motor and decoder socket. Drive is on all eight wheels, which have traction tyres and no electrical pickups, as I discovered when I placed the Restaurant Car on the test track, turned on the power and nothing happened. Investigation showed that the unit has electrically active 4-pin couplings, and that only one of the driving cars has track pickups on its bogies. Coupling that driving car to the Restaurant Car produced a result. It was silky smooth and quiet right from the very start on DC, so I set about fitting an 8-pin Lenz Standard+ v.2 decoder. Body removal involved removing two screws (except that one of mine was missing - no big deal because the body clips very firmly back in place). Pin 1 is marked clearly on the PCB, so it was a case of removing the blanking plug, inserting the decoder plug and tidying the wires; there is even a space provided for the decoder to sit out of the way, on top of the housing. A quick test on the programming track with the driving car and Restaurant Car together again proved the installation was fine, and after a bit of programming to set the address and alter the acceleration and deceleration to match my usual standards, the pair of coaches were placed on the main lines and given a very quick test run, before assembling the whole train. I have to say that for such an inexpensive set, the quality is very good. I am sure there are a few details missing to suit the budget price (there are some add-on roof vents to fit), but these trains are so streamlined and smooth anyway, anything missing isn't really noticeable. The lighting consists only of directional head and tail lights, but a nice extra feature is the driver figure in one end cab. While purchasing the unit, I had decided that it needed a couple more coaches, so ordered a 1st class pantograph coach and 2nd class sitting coach to extend it to six cars, which looks better balanced, to me. The train cruised around Newton Broadway beautifully at low and medium speeds, although I have not tried its top speed yet - there seems to be plenty in reserve.
  25. As an example, I have four Hornby M7s, all fitted with DP2X-UK decoders (the only type that really fits!). Three behave beautifully. The fourth one had to have the BEMF turned off and many tweaks to the settings on the decoder to get it to run properly. That one went fine in reverse (with the default settings), but surged then stopped repeatedly going forwards. Swapping decoders fixed that locomotive, but transferred the problem to the other loco instead, indicating a decoder problem. With the BEMF off and the various tweaks to it, the M7 with the dud decoder behaves fine.
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